Cleaning the Mirrors of Life

Back when I was young, Mom made us help around the house. I didn’t want to clean (still don’t like it by the way.) I wanted to play outside or read or pretty much anything else. This desire to be finished before I even started meant I rushed through the job at times. I wanted it to look like I did it, but I was no perfectionist.

With the mirrors, I performed exceptionally bad. Hey, it looked finished to me! Pretty much without fail, Mom would bring me back in and show me the spots that magically appeared. I swear, they weren’t there before! She taught me that you have to step back and look. You can’t see those places you missed when you are up close to the glass. It takes coming away and seeing the whole thing. Suddenly the glass that looked clean has a plethora of streaks and spots pop out at you.

It was years before I thought about this concept in my life. Instead of a lesson purely relating to house keeping, this is an idea that translates to every situation we face. We can’t see the truth when we are so involved and need to step back. The picture is bigger than the 8 inch square we see in front of our face. If we stay in that position, things will look the same. When we back up even a little, the situation becomes clearer. We can be more aware of the actual issues and maybe even come up with solutions. But nothing will be solved with our noses inches from the glass.

How does this look in real life? I have to step back and see the issue with fresh eyes. I need to take in people’s perception and what is going on in their lives at the moment that would make them act this way. I should see how it is affecting those I love around me- is it harming them? I really have to see past my own feelings and gain a bigger perspective than I had.

None of these things are easy. When storms of life blow at us, and they will, the best thing we can do is take a breath and step back to evaluate. Things become clearer when we see who and what are involved and how it all fits together. Some things we may never understand, but we need to remember that it does all fit together and there is a reason for it. If we step back and don’t immediately know what to do, we may just need to wait a bit longer for things to fall in place.

No, backing away from a situation doesn’t come naturally to us. We tend to want to run in and fix every problem. But if we don’t know what the real problem is, how do we know where to start? I hope we can all take a lesson from Mom and step back. Figure out where the spots are and wipe them out.

Linking with Holley Gerth

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6 thoughts on “Cleaning the Mirrors of Life

  1. Sarah, I love this post, so True! When we reframe our circumstances with a wide angle view, we gain an eternal perspective…trusting Jesus, He knows what He’s doing…many blessings to you and your sweet family ❀️

  2. This is so good ~ especially as it relates to others’ actions or responses. I am a work in progress, but one of the lessons that has impacted me the most is stopping to consider the various and multiple reasons someone might act/react in a way that on the surface seems negative / hurtful, etc. (And as bloggers putting ourselves out there, the opportunities to refine this lesson are widened, aren’t they?)

    We so easily apply our own filter to everyone else. But stepping back and trying to see through their own dirty glass will yield a fruit of peace in our own lives and an ability to be more grace-filled and Savior-pointing in theirs.

    Loved this post. Always enjoy my time here!

    1. Thank you for your sweet words! I know what you mean about blogging. I want to make everyone happy, and that is just not possible. But we all have our perspective, and if we could see it that way, there would be much less conflict. πŸ™‚

  3. Sarah,
    Sometimes we’re too close to our own situations to see things clearly, aren’t we? I love your mom’s wise words and how they ring true in your life today (and for always, really) — what a gift! And I’m not sure why you didn’t inherit the cleaning gene — it’s so therapeutic to clean!!! haha (I actually do love it!)

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